Awaken - July 23, 2017 New Moon in Leo

Sunday’s new moon arrives as the transition of Cancer into Leo. This is a moon that brings forward a question of belonging, personal agency and the ability to move beyond the confines of familiarity in order to express oneself authentically.

The sun and moon conjoin Mars and square Uranus giving the event an edgy kind of energy that feels fierce, immediate and necessary. Mercury is just entering its shadow period (at the degree it will recede to during the upcoming retrograde August 11- September 5) and together with the north node forms a grand fire trine with Uranus in Aries and Saturn in Sagittarius.

This week’s new moon acts like an acupuncture needle. It seeks to energize and shift what’s stagnant. It wants us to awaken, to feel, and to push past boundaries of fear. It asks each of us to get more real and less fake. It wants honest expression now!

As with all new moons, this one is the beginning of something. It is a time of subjectivity and suggestibility. It’s a time to make wishes and set intentions, but also to free your mind of needing to formalize or formulate.

How we negotiate freedom is paramount to our survival. We can longer fool ourselves into believing that personal happiness is an individual pursuit. We are in this together whether we like it or not, yet we need each person’s unique insight, creativity and capacity on board. Consensus is impossible. Capitalism is unsustainable. Where do we go from here? What are the options?

We’re a few weeks away from the second round of eclipses in the Leo/Aquarius axis, the later of which will be a total solar eclipse that passes directly over the United States. The last time a total solar eclipse graced our nation’s eyeballs was 1878, another time in our national and world history that was ripe with innovation, invention and instability.

I’ll be releasing a special set of podcasts in the next two weeks that look more closely at the eclipses and the charts of the United States and Donald Trump, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, this week’s podcast on the Leo new moon goes much more deeply into the current astrology and how we might be experiencing it internally and externally. 

In an homage to Leo’s essence, its rulership of the heart, and in appreciation to my friend, colleague and mentor Michael Stone (he was a Leo!) who passed away a few days ago I offer you this guided meditation on How To Listen To Your Heart.

This imagine of awakening by the inspired  Janna Dorothy

This imagine of awakening by the inspired Janna Dorothy

You are here. You have arrived. All the work that led to this point is absorbing and integrating. Your charts talk about nearing a culmination of some sort. The end of an apprenticeship or education perhaps? It seems to be a feeling of synthesis that only comes after a special kind of rigor and which then sets the stage for a more complete ownership of your creative capacities. All you have to do is give yourself a pat on the back… and… keep at it.

What’s coming next is a monumental shift in your sense of personal agency. It’s a rite of passage into the next level of authorship and maturity. It’s the empowerment of having faced some decent-sized demons. It’s a concretizing of ideas into tangible action.

And it will be of utmost importance to stay humble. You can sit back and accept some accolades right now, but by the end of the year you’ll have to get back to the grind. You’re going to be asked to continue whatever you’ve been doing, and then take it to the next step of realization, professionalism, commitment and detail.

I think you’re up for the task, but here’s the thing. You’ll need to rethink your relationship to your creative capacities. By creative I don’t only mean if you have art projects, I mean your capacity to generate, bring your energy and innovation, synthesize, and generally have fun with whatever you’re spending time doing.

In order to be sustainable, your creativity needs to be synonymous with both your personal and spiritual pursuits. You’ll have to understand how they serve to form and fit together. They cannot be at odds. This doesn’t mean they can’t challenge each other though – the best relationships will bring you closer to faith and to art – but they can’t compete for your attention.

How you manage this I don’t know. But I have a sense that it begins with the thing that it is. Basically, creative synthesis. Your new moon affirmation is, “My entire life is a complete work of art and experimentation.”

You seem to be in a moment of integrating a considerable amount of intensity. Something has been building steadily for the last few years and is nearing a… breaking point, revelation or graduation of some kind. It feels like there is an urgency rising in your awareness about different ways you could be, but still an uncertainty as to what, how, who and maybe even where.

There is so much change. And yet, what feels most important right now is the sense of coming home. Home to your heart, home to yourself, home to your truth, home to your center. Coming home in the most expanded and metaphorical of ways.

Let this new moon be a meditation on familiarity. Not the familiarity of complacency or normality, but the kind of familiarity you sense in the moments when something “lands” right. The way you know you belong somewhere. The times when you can trust a stranger because something about them speaks to something about you and it’s more of a sensation than an articulation.

Consider selectiveness. You don’t have to be everything to everyone. You don’t have to provide it all. You definitely don’t have to like it all. Appreciate your preferences in whatever ways you can while still being aware of them. Nurture what you know suits your vibe.

As you reach into the future you’ll naturally pull from the past, and this is good. Invite the memories in and be willing to recognize some past incarnations of yourself that are ready to come forward once again. Notice the ways you know yourself and what is uniquely right for you and then do what you can to support more of that. This doesn’t mean excluding or ignoring what’s different. It’s simply a choice of where to put your energy and attention. Your new moon affirmation is, “Wherever I go, here I am.”

It’s rare that endings don’t bring some sense of loneliness. Even the ones that primarily bring relief will also leave an absence. In some ways absence can have a greater presence than whatever/whomever it is that is now gone. Left alone with yourself you might actually be able to feel the parts of the relationship that were otherwise obscured by the relating.

Most depth psychologists will agree that we are rarely able to truly perceive one another. More often we are absorbed in our own projections – the unnamed insecurities, fears, desires and ambitions, that for whatever reasons we can’t claim for ourselves. When we meet someone who provides a background for us to project onto it’s a fine thing indeed. Upon our lovers, partners and enemies we can externalize what we are not able to know within ourselves.

It’s in this way that our relations become our most profound spiritual teachers. Especially when we are disappointed. Especially when we hit an edge. Especially when there is no other choice but to examine how our own beliefs, actions and movements created the context for relating in the ways that we did.

Let the sensations of your changing relationships wash over you peacefully. Some will go and new ones will arrive. Try to see the humanness in all the ones who have inspired deep feelings. See the ways they strive to grow honestly, and in tune with their own alignment.

Your job right now is to continue to clarify your self concept, to accept as many aspects of yourself as you can, and to make whatever strides possible towards claiming yourself fully. This includes your shadowy sides and sadness. This includes the mysterious challenges. Love the one you are. Your new moon affirmation is, “I see myself.”

As your values shift more fully towards self-worth it’s important that you clear some space for other aspects of your life to realign and redefine. Some of what this means is paring down your daily schedule and restricting yourself to only making plans that align to your own desires.

As a Cancer this will feel strange. You may not be practiced in NOT fulfilling commitments made to others, especially those that seem to be needed uniquely from you. However, right now you can practice caring for others by letting them care for themselves. This doesn’t mean shutting down or walling off. It is simply offering your recognition of their efforts and honest support for them to learn to support themselves.

The ways you will become more free depend upon your ability to listen to your own values and joy. At times you will value and enjoy being of service to others. At other times you will value and enjoy pursuing your interests. Neither is better and both are necessary. Practice noticing how in resourcing yourself you become more of a sustainable resource for those around you.

The kind of freedom that is currently pushing you open from inside is inspiration in its true purity. This sublime heat is in turn magnified by the universe and all the possibilities there are to become and experiment with. No more do you need to stay small in formalized obligations or concrete commitments. If you can truly embrace freedom in your heart it’s actually a hell of lot more stable for those you love than if you don’t. Your new moon meditation is, “I have everything I need.”

Hopefully you have been spending time in some forms of meditation. Hopefully you have been making enough space to listen within. Hopefully you’ve been clearing out the clutter of systems and programs you don’t want to run anymore. Hopefully you feel some kind of open question. Because… what is ready to be known will soon make itself available, and the space of empty unknowing will soon be filled with light.

Your life is changing. Probably in a multitude of ways. Stay on course by committing to holistic and honest connections. Stay on course by remembering your creative capacity is only as grand as what it’s in service to. Stay on course by refusing to abandon your spiritual philosophies and showing up fiercely to honor what you know to be true.

This is not a time on Earth to be a superstar, it is a time to reflect the light of others as brightly as you possibly can. This is not a time to seek celebrity. It is a time to fully own your confidence and quit apologizing for what you’re damn good at. This is not a time to boast or brag. It is a time to take down your guard and let yourself be seen.

My friend… What you are capable of is nothing less than love as bright as the sun itself. Know yourself to be good. Know yourself to be a conduit for the God, Goddess and Great Spirits of your understanding. It is now the time to know ourselves as Nothing Less Than All That Could Possibly Be. Do not be limited by your identity. Your new moon affirmation is, “I am love. Freely and without fear.”

My teacher Bonnie often says, “Don’t underestimate the value of feeling lost.” The first time I heard this I didn’t quite know what she meant, and then it became a meditation. Noticing the ways I asserted my opinions and expectations of being right upon life, myself and other people, I realized how much life energy (my own and others') I stifled by being unwilling to not know.

The paradox of true wisdom being the consistent mindset of not knowing is something we all grapple with. Particularly in times and places of profound loss, confusion and disillusion. Sometimes we arrive in a clear space of open questions and see God, and then just as quickly we forget when we want to tell the story or try to remember her name.

Currently the only thing to do is rest deeply and anchor in your true home. It’s not a place. It’s not another person. It’s not a thing. It’s the unknown knowing that no matter what happens you are safe. There will be earthquakes. The economy will collapse. True love is not contained in a single person. You will die. And you are safe.

Let go of the limits you place upon your security. Open your mind to encompass your heart. The binaries are ridiculous and create suffering. Expand beyond them. Expand. To live your life in the ways you know you want to, you have to be willing to take on death. If not you will keep running and will stay afraid. Alternatively, you can stop struggling to define where you are and simply arrive. Your new moon affirmation is, “I trust.”

There’s a lot to concepts of unity, community and cooperation. These words are ubiquitous but fairly impossible to unpack. Most of us have too much trouble seeing and acknowledging our own bias to unite. Very few of us have had reasonable examples of actual community leadership, so cooperation more often becomes competition.

It seems that the work you’re doing right now is idealistic and seeking true pluralism. It seems that you have, and are, attuning to an immense, bright and creative kind of organizing. It seems that you are willing to shake up standard relational expectations in favor of a more utopian whole. Mazel tov!

May you consistently find balance between stability and ease. May you constantly inquire into your capacity to truly listen. May you make space for others to lead even when you are uncertain. May you demonstrate clear leadership in the ways you share space. May you know yourself by letting go of what you think you know about others. May you give ample opportunity to the future. May you trust your friends and love them deeply. May you find friendship in all whom you meet.

Your new moon affirmation is, “Thank you for being here.”

Sometimes it’s necessary to shake things up a lot. Sometimes you have to fully break ties with the past in order to move forward, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There’s a difference between honoring your ancestors and their wisdom, and being caught up in tradition. Now is the time to respectfully give thanks for all that you’ve been given, and bow out of what’s not for you.

You might also take some time to recognize new values that have formed recently, particularly those which have come through the teachers of your more intimate friends. The ways you have learned to take risks, consider alternatives and try new things are blessed. Be willing to see how others have helped inform you of your own inherent possibility and goodness. Be willing to continue expanding your self-concept by letting the old ideas subside.

When it comes to how you place yourself in the larger world it really comes down to ego. If you get caught up in needing to prove something to anyone else it’s unhelpful. Ideas you have about what you should do are not useful if they’re based in anything other than your own honest interests… because, let’s be honest. If your heart isn’t in it it’s not sustainable. Longevity doesn’t mean success. When it comes to what you can commit to, the ultimate bottom line is whether or not you actually want to.

Being willing to admit to your own ambition means being willing to untether yourself from all the programs running about what ambition should be. With the world in the state that it’s in we need to get real about what is or is not valuable. You can’t eat money and accolades won’t keep you warm at night. Your new moon affirmation is, “I live the life that’s right for me. There’s nothing to prove.”

Make sure that you aren’t misplacing your identity. Especially if you find yourself in a space of perceiving others as beautiful and interesting while feeling yourself as limited or ugly. Remember how much easier it is to see yourself through what someone else can show you. And that includes the arguments and the agreements. It includes what you want to see and what you don’t.

The way(s) you actually do know yourself need to be creative. They have to arise in effort on your part for absolute honesty, which means presence and experimentation. They have to be willing to fail and fall flat. You’ve been slogging through this stuff for the past few years I know. But this new moon suggests there’s still a little more to sort through or come to terms with in yourself. There’s still some more softening up around the rigidity of ideas you have about who you are.

It’s time for a new guiding philosophy. It’s time for a new set of beliefs. It’s time to set sights on something different. It’s time to get bigger and bolder. It’s time to bust out of whatever you thought was the limit. It’s time to recognize you’re an artist no matter what your day job is. It’s time to strengthen your spine and stand tall. It’s time to bear your heart and let the cards fall where they may.

So maybe it’s also time to get a new business card? But what would it say? How about just a circle? It could represent your identity as the empty space inside of your material body, or the continuous birthing and dying of your ideas about who you’ll be when you grow up, or the complete whole that you are and always have been… Your new moon affirmation is, “It's time to play.”

Authenticity is about as big of a buzzword as you can get. What the hell does it mean? It’s one of those words that define themselves through non-definition. There is no formula for authenticity, because it has to be different for everyone, day by day, moment by moment.

Not one of us knows what the future will hold. And that’s about as firm a fact as any of us can get. Authenticity is arriving in the now, knowing that this is all there is… There’s nothing to strive for that you can plan on. There’s nothing to assume so make haste and slow down. Drop the idea of what you thought was coming. You’ll know what to wear when the moment arrives.

A finality and letting go is upon you. Probably not as dramatic as it sounds, and most likely you’ll feel freedom, relief, and happy to say goodbye. But for now it’s important to grieve what’s ending and to honor what it has been. The people, places, things that have been your home and stability have shifted so much. Now is the time to really just let go. Exhale. What’s done is done.

What is beginning is a chapter of authenticity in intimacy. All you’ve been letting go of, painful as it has been, was blocking the flow between your heart and your brain. The structures of self that were pinned upon foundations which have now shifted, are similarly ready to shift. There isn’t the same need to define what you need. Hallelujah.

One day at a time. Moment by moment. Commit to telling the truth. You have to live your life for beauty. You have to live your life for love. You have to live your life for you, not for who others want you to be. Your new moon affirmation is, “I choose what feels right, right now.”

Relationships are certainly different with different people, but is it possible to say which kinds of relationships are better? Sometimes one relation will serve a present need and sometimes you’ll need another. Sometimes you’ll be the one that’s wanted most and sometimes you won’t. Just because you might be married doesn’t mean you also have to be the best friend, mentor, and playmate.

Most of us have grown up with a dominant narrative of relational hierarchy. First we have family of origin, then best friends, then sweethearts, then spouses, then children. Our culture teaches us to prioritize marriage over friendship. It encourages us to set-up relations of all kinds that box in our human possibilities under whatever terms and conditions are assumed by the name.

This is unsustainable and shitty. It’s not fair for anyone to have to uphold all those expectations or meet the demands all the time. And it really hurts to get let down and disappointed when we don't get what we think we should from who it should come from. How do we move away from this mindset towards something more inclusive and valuing of all kinds of relationships so we don’t put sooooo much pressure on each other, and constantly set ourselves up for disappointment?

Your current astrology seems to be pointing in this general direction. You’re being asked to bring your all to the relationships you’re in without limiting yourself to their definitions. You’re being pushed to reformulate your articulations and let co-dependencies dissolve. You’re being challenged to own your worth with everyone so that you can self-soothe when “the one” you want is otherwise unavailable.

Don’t let your mental constructs of relationships get in the way of the actual relating. Your heart is a wild and glorious beast that is capable of the most sublime tenderness and the most radical freedom. Anything less than that is selling yourself short. Your new moon affirmation is, “Love is found in freedom.”

This new moon meditation is offered here as a prayer… Please edit, modify or use whichever parts are most relevant.

May I trust my choices. May I awaken each day, fully present, fully free, fully alive. May I have the space, internally and externally, to consider what I want to express. May I be courageous and honest in my expressions. May I have no backward glances or insecurities. May I trust my choices.

May I be certain of my path. Even if I don’t know what it is. Even if it’s often confusing. Even if it seems to constantly diverge. May I move steadily in the direction of my highest self, my greatest wisdom, my most expansive beliefs. May I give myself fully to the world, confident that I will be led, steady in my own intent. May I be certain of my path.

May I be free. May I free myself from value systems that are dysfunctional and unhealthy. May I free myself from the ancient and twisted habits of my family and culture that do not serve my happiness. May I free myself from identifying my worth with money, external beauty, accomplishments and all other short-lived forms of emptiness. May I be free.

I offer myself fully to the mystery. I offer myself fully to grace. I offer myself as a conduit for healing. I offer myself as a channel for truth. I offer myself as an instrument of needed change. I offer myself as a servant of love.

I trust my choices. I am certain. I am free. I offer myself.